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Daily Round Up: John Lewis sees mobile Sales success; Sears Holdings to close 120 stores; textile disruption in Pakistan; retail interest for TJ Hughes Dumfries store

From around the web and the nationals

JOHN LEWIS, the department store, has seen mobile traffic to its online Clearance sale soar 119% from last year. The amount spent online via mobile was up 46% since the sale started on Christmas Eve. The department store launched virtual windows in a number of its stores, letting shoppers scan Clearance items to buy via mobile and order for pick up when stores reopened.

SELFRIDGES claimed it had its busiest ever single hour of trade on Boxing Day, with more than 2,000 shoppers queuing from 9am.

RETAIL WEBSITES in the UK saw 62.8m visits on Christmas day, with one in eight internet visits being to a retailer, according to web analytics firm Hitwise.

SEARS HOLDINGS, the US retail group which owns Sears and Kmart, is to shutter 120 out of its 2,200 stores after falling sales. The BBC reports that in the eight weeks to Christmas day, sales at Kmart fell 4.4% and 6% at Sears. Kmart reported a decline in clothing sales over the same period. Fourth quarter earnings are expected to be less than half of last year’s. The closures should raise $170 (£108.5m). Sears Holdings has brands including Lands’ End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as Apostrophe and Covington.

TEXTILE units in Faisalabad, Pakistan, have closed due to disruption of gas supply across the region. The industry in Faisalabad employs more than one million people. Workers face not being paid unless the energy crisis is resolved, according to reports. Textile exporters from the region are also concerned they will not be able to fulfill any orders gained from Heimtexil, the German textile fair held in January.

UK RETAILERS could exit half of their shop leases in the next three years, according to the latest figures by property experts Jones Lang LaSalle, reported in the Independent. The property firm found that across 10,000 shops examined, 25% of current leases are due to expire in 2013 and 50%, by 2015. Non-renewal would compound growing high street vacancy rates, which are as high as almost 37% in towns such as Margate, dealing a blow to the UK’s already struggling high street.

TJ HUGHES, the regional discount department chain which quit the high street in the summer, has had interest from an unnamed retailer for its Scottish Dumfries town centre store. A new occupier could help restore what was described by the head of Dumfries Retailers Association, Rab Smith, to the BBC, as a “big gap” in the town. In August, its administrators Ernst and Young, announced the closure of 22 TJ Hughes stores and the loss of 1, 062 jobs across the UK. It carried brands including Calvin Klein, French Connection, Kate Moss and Tommy Hilfiger across fragrance and accessories.

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